Pienaar storms out of news conference

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

Everton and Bafana and Bafana midfielder Steven Pienaar snubbed the media when he stormed out of a news conference without answering a single question in Durban yesterday.

Players and technical staff interviews are planned well ahead and yesterday's interview was no exception.

This was the first time since Bafana Bafana arrived in Durban to prepare for the Africa Cup of Nations finals which kick off in Ghana on January 20 that players grant interviews.

The first two players, Tsepo Masilela and Siphiwe Tshabala - who were together with Pienaar - lined up for interviews on the day and had no problem in responding to questions Even the coach, Carlos Alberto Parreira, availed himself and responded pretty well to questions.

But when it was Pienaar's turn, Safa media liaison officer Sifiso Cele, indicated that the Pienaar was not going to answer questions relating to his late arrival.

This came as a shock to journalists, some of whom were briefed by their editors to seek clarity from the player.

The moment journalists indicated that they wanted to ask him about his late arrival, without any warning, Pienaar walked out of the conference, leaving journalists stunned.

One frustrated reporter asked: "What is this? Even players such as Benni would rather not answer the question than just leave like this. What is he hiding, why is he not prepared to answer questions because people want to know what happened before his arrival?"

Defending Pienaar's behaviour, Cele blamed the media for wanting "to create controversy". He said journalists should know that "players are not obliged to avail themselves for interviews".

"And also, there are those players that would be available to interact with you and there are those that would not."

But journalists were not impressed, especially after waiting for more than two hours to get a chance to speak to Pienaar. Maybe "Schillo" is too big for his own countrymen.